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Allen Meadows - Burghound (BH)

Allen Maedows

Allen Meadows was a finance executive for 25 years, holding a variety of positions, including stints as the senior vice-president and director of corporate development for Great Western Financial and chief financial officer for Fidelity National.

In 1999 he elected to retire to author a book on the subject of Burgundy but a year later decided to found, a quarterly review that is presently devoted exclusively to the coverage of Burgundy. was the first of its kind to offer specialized, and more importantly, exhaustive coverage of a specific wine region. The first Issue was released in January of 2001 and there are now readers in 41 different countries.

Meadows spends four months a year in Burgundy and visits more than 300 domaines during that time. 2006 marks his 27th year of visiting the region and its producers.

The Rating System:

95 - 100: Truly incomparable and emotionally thrilling. By definition, it is reference standard for its appellation. Less than 1% of fine wine (eg $30+ per bottle).

90 - 94: Outstanding. Worth a special effort to purchase and cellar and will provide memorable drinking experiences.

85 - 89: Very good to high quality. Wines that offer high quality, some flair and generally very good typicity. “Good Value” wines will often fall into this category. Worth your attention.

80 - 84: Average to Good quality. Fine wine, but solid rather than exciting.

70-79: Good wines, acceptable. But personally I find life too short to waste on boring wines

60-69: Not faulty, but plain and low quality fruit, e.g. dilute. Or crass winemaking, e.g. dolled up with oak chips. These points yet with no redeeming features.


  Media coverage


Burgundy with The Burghound - Part 1

Allen Meadows is arguably the most followed and well-known enthusiast and reviewer of the wines of Burgundy. Owner and author of the quarterly publication "Burghound," Allen has been visiting the Burgundy region of France since 1979, when, after finishing graduate school, he decided to "give himself a gift" and travel to Europe. Allen got more than he bargained for, as his early interest turned first to fascination and finally to admiration and love for Pinot Noir and the wines of Burgundy. Join us for part one of this two-part series, as we talk with Allen Meadows about the beginnings of his passion for 'the heartbreak grape,' and hear what he feels it takes to make a good Pinot Noir or Burgundy. Consider this a pre-requisite for Part 2.

Source: GrapeRadio Bunch in Discussion
Published: February 12th, 2007
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Burghound - The Burgundy Journal of Record

While the appointment of the talented and dedicated David Schildknecht to cover Burgundy for The Wine Advocate is a very, very positive step, anyone who is seriously following Burgundy long ago discovered that Allen Meadow's Burghound is the only place to go for anyone collecting (or just drinking) Burgundy of all price points. If you have any lingering doubts you only need to tune in to the recent GrapeRadio podcast "The Wines of Maison Louis Jadot with Allen Meadows" to be blown away not only by his knowledge, but by his loving respect of the region and its wines. I have been fortunate to hear Meadow's speak several times now and followed his newsletter for some time and his knowledge of Burgundy is literally encyclopaedic. I want to make this as clear as I can: anyone interested in buying Burgundy no matter what your level of expertise or the size of your collection should be a subscriber to Burghound.

Source: Wine Camp Blog and Forum
Published: September 6, 2006
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A Day of Rest and Burghound

Today was really the calm before the storm. While the weather cleared up, we can feel the threatening storm of three days of intense picking that will start Saturday and run through Monday. On Saturday and Sunday we will process almost 40 tons of fruit each day. However, today was quiet and gave us a chance to catch up and a few members of the crew even got a day off. As we enjoyed the day we also got some good news about vintages past as Burghound gave us and our neighbors some nice reviews. I, in particular, am pleased with Allen Meadows' comments on our wines as he is clearly the definitive writer on pinot noir in the industry today. No one knows the entire world of pinot noir better than Allen and anyone who loves pinot noir should be a subscriber to his newsletter, Burghound.

Source: Anne Amie Home Page
Published: October 11, 2007
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The New York Sun

"HERE'S THE (IMMEDIATE GRATIFICATION) DEAL ... According to Allen Meadows, whose four-times-a-year newsletter called is the definitive word on matters Burgundian, says the 2005 vintage is 'the single most consistently excellent vintage from top to bottom that I've ever seen.' Mr. Meadows rarely engages in gush, so you'd better believe it."

Source: Reproduced in part: by Matt Kramer ("Wine for Right Now"):
Published: January 3, 2007
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Oregon Pinot Noir Club

"Burghound Scores Are Out! Most wine lovers these days know about Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate, and of course they subscribe to The Wine Spectator, but among Pinot noir and Burgundy freaks…Allen Meadows, aka Burghound, is The Man. About 15 years ago, I was an AOL member posting scads of tasting notes and engaging in vinous debate with a lively online community there. Many of those folks have gone on to success in the industry in one fashion or another. But one poster simply blew all of us away with his detailed notes on some of the world's finest wines - lots of wine, several times a week…that was Burghound. Now he is 28 issues into his quarterly newsletter and is simply the best reviewer of Burgundy and pinot noir writing in English, in my opinion. One Caveat: He's the most exacting and stingy of all the reviewers, and breaking the 90-point barrier with him is significant.

Source: Oregon Pinot Noir Club
Published: October 2007
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"A Vintage Year in Burgundy"

"The Burghound Phenomenon. Burgundy lends itself to obsessives, what with its hundreds of growers, thousands of named vineyards and maddening variations in vintages. The world's foremost Burgundy expert - who, thankfully, is also in possession of an acute palate - is Los angeles-based Allen Meadows. A former investment banker, Meadows, 52, has been dreaming about and drinking Burgundy for years. Bored by Finance ... and tantalized by a life sepnt in pursuit of the wine, Meadows launched a web-based subscription newsletter called in January 2001. In a surprisingly short time, Meadows, who had never previously written professionally, became the authority on Burgundy. And it's easy to see why. Each quarterly edition, if printed out, typically runs to 150 single-spaced pages printed on both sides. It's like writing four books a year. Meadows reports that he now has several thousand subscribers in 46 countries…attribute to his exhaustive research (he's in Burgundy for several months a year), impressive tasting acuity and reliability. No Burgundy lover leaves home for the retail shop without a copy ..."

Source: By Matt Kramer, Diversion Magazine,
Published: May 2007
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The Wine Workshop

Join The Wine Workshop for an extraordinary weekend, October 12-14, 2007, with the world's foremost expert on Burgundy, Allen Meadows, aka the Burghound. Allen's insights on Burgundy have become invaluable to wine professionals and collectors alike. His authoritative views on Burgundy are the reference standard in this highly complex and diverse region…To hear him speak on the subject is the equivalent of taking a Masters course on Burgundy! The scope of Allen's knowledge and experience should not be missed by anyone who enjoys or aspires to understand the intricacies of Burgundy…"

Source: The wine workshop
Published: Spring 2007

New voice on the grapevine

No wines divide opinion quite like Burgundies. People either adore them or despise them: there is no mushy middle, and especially not when it comes to red Burgundies, made from the fickle Pinot Noir grape. Those who love red Burgundies tend to love them in an obsessive way; indeed, the wines command an almost cult-like devotion. It is a cult that appears to have finally found its prophet in a former banker from southern California known as Burghound. Burghound is the nom de plume - nom de vin, if you prefer - of Allen Meadows. Since 2001, Meadows has been publishing a quarterly newsletter, called Burghound, devoted to the reds and whites of Burgundy. It is not a cheap read - an annual subscription costs $110 - but then, Burgundy is not a cheap drink. Wine critics exist in part to save us from making mistakes, and when it comes to Burgundies, mistakes are expensive, frustrating, and frequent. Burgundy gets plenty of attention from the press, and at least two well-known critics - Clive Coates of The Vine, and Steve Tanzer, who puts out International Wine Cellar - have long been considered trustworthy guides to the wines. Meadows is modest about the function he serves. "I don't think there was a void," he says, "but I did feel that there was perhaps room for another voice." The market plainly agrees: with around 2,000 subscribers, a high renewal rate, and growing influence among retailers and auction houses, Meadows seems to have established himself in the eyes of fellow Burgundy fanatics as a reliable first line of defence.

Source: By Mike Steinberger, Financial Times Arts & Weekend
Published: Aug. 8, 2003

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